10 Most Useful Apps

Mobile apps are both a gift and a curse.  On one hand they can waste a significant amount of time and lead to procrastination.  Seriously, do you really need to view your friend’s sister’s cat’s Snapstory?  On the other hand there are many useful apps that are educational, organize your life, and keep you connected.  Here are my top ten.  

1. Spotify

If you enjoy music Spotify is a must.  It is stocked with endless playlists for every mood or occasion.  I also STRONGLY suggest upgrading to the premium account which allows for playlists to be downloaded.  Nothing is worse than working out in full beast mode to “Turn Down for What” only to be physically and mentally deflated by an ad.  Students can upgrade their account for only $5/month.

2. Podcasts

Podcasts are free knowledge and entertainment and also a great way to take a break from Spotify.  If you haven’t jumped on the podcast train you are missing out.  They are perfect for walks between classes, driving, and down time.  My favorites are The Joe Rogan Experience, Serial, Bulletproof Radio, The School of Greatness, and TED Radio Hour.  

3. Reminders

How often do you think you will remember to do some menial task but forget?  There is no need for that to ever happen again.  Just tell Siri to make a reminder for you.  For example, “Hey Siri, remind me to send blog post to Holly on Thursday.”

4. Sleep Cycle

Tracking sleep is a great way to motivate yourself to get better rest.  Body movement is tracked as you sleep to determine which part of the sleep cycle you are in.  In the morning the app will show you a graph of your night and give you a sleep score out of 100% for some healthy self-competition.

5. FaceTime

Text messaging is okay, phone calls are better, but FaceTime is the best way to keep up with friends and family.  Seeing the other person’s face makes it much easier to connect.  An unexpected FaceTime call is a surefire way to surprise and reconnect with an old friend.  

6. WeatherUnderground

This is the best weather app I have found.  It allows you to see hourly temperatures, precipitation percentages, and cloud cover on a single, easy to read scrolling axis.  The name of the app also implies that you have top-secret inside information if you are the conspiracy theory type.

7. Ham Horn

The Ham Horn app makes the sound commonly heard in today’s hip-hop music.  This sound effect is often used at random times because there is never a bad time to use the Ham Horn. Your team scores? Ham horn.  You enter a room? Ham Horn.  Your first son is born? Ham horn.

8. Yelp

If you’ve ever been to a new city finding a place to eat can be stressful.  Thankfully, millions of people have wasted their own time writing restaurant reviews so you don’t have to!  Yelp is a great way to quickly find the best restaurants in town and in my experience is very reliable.  

9. Venmo

You’re out to eat with your friends.  The waitress comes by and drops off the check, but it’s not split!  No need to panic.  Venmo links to your bank account and allows you to quickly transfer funds between other Venmo users.  The request function is particularly useful for those friends that “forget” to pay you back.

10. Mint

Wonder where all your money has gone?   Mint keeps bank balances, budgeting, reminders, and financial management tips all in one place.     

Luke Baumbach, Iota ’14


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